Last week you recommended burying kitchen scraps to let them compost directly in the soil. But I have seen raccoons in my neighborhood. What if they dig up my garden to get at the compost?
Whether you compost aboveground or below, animals may be attracted by the smell of the composting scraps and dig into the pile in search of something edible. Fences will keep out neighborhood dogs but they aren’t much help when it comes to excluding other digging or burrowing animals, such as rats, field mice, and raccoons.
Some manufactured composting bins and tumblers are designed to be critter-proof, with solid sides and tight-fitting lids. Homemade compost bins can be lined with wire mesh or hardware cloth. When pit composting, bury the compostables under several inches of soil. This makes it less likely that marauding animals will smell food and dig.
Don’t add meat or dairy products to your compost pile. If the problem with unwanted wildlife persists, eliminate kitchen scraps entirely and compost only yard wastes—things that won’t interest raccoons, like leaves, grass clippings, shrub prunings, and weeds. —Doug Hall